Several separate groups of hikers converged on the Goshen swinging bridge's parking area on Sunday, April 28th to hike the Jump Mountain Loop. Included in the hike roster were the Charlottesville car - Marion, Ann, Jocelyn, and hike leader Jeff, the Afton car, including Mike Hammer, Nancy, and Barbara, and the Harrisonburg car, driven by Lyn. At Goshen, the group met another group from Lynchburg's Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club. Because the Afton car was still in Lexington when the rest of the groups were at the trailhead, many of the NBATC hikers took off early and met the later group closer to the top of the mountain.
The Jump Rock loop is a hike with just about everything packed into a 9.1 mile journey. The hike starts out with a somewhat scary bridge crossing, then a river walk, then ascends steeply while passing a small waterfall.
After lunch, the groups continued on the loop, scratching their way over some trail made harder to cross and to follow by downed trees before reaching the third viewpoint, Viewing Rock. Views were clearer on this side of the mountain, and our vista looking west was also spectacular! The group stopped and took a group photo, as did those members of the NBATC who hiked with us.